Dirk Gently’s Casebook – File #3

This week: the interconnectedness of all things

Holism – from the Greek holos, “all, whole, entire”, is the idea that systems (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not just as a collection of parts

Everything is linked.

Dirk Gently describes himself as a holistic detective: that is, he aims to solve the whole crime and find the whole person (although it has to be said, his typical caseload does seem to mainly comprise of “messy divorces and missing cats”). It’s also interesting that his particular holistic approach involves running up extremely large expense accounts and then claiming that every item – visiting a tropical beach in the Bahamas for a few weeks, for instance – is a crucial part of his investigation.

connected

As Dirk himself explains, “Holistic refers to my conviction that what we are concerned with here is the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. I do not concern myself with such petty things as fingerprint powder, telltale pieces of pocket fluff and inane footprints. I see the solution to each problem as being detectable in the pattern and web of the whole. The connections between causes and effects are often much more subtle and complex than we, with our rough and ready understanding of the physical world, might naturally suppose.”

Clear? All will be (or won’t be) revealed on the Nuffield stage from 30th January to 3rd February 2018!

We’re delighted that tickets are selling pretty well already: to secure the seats that you want, you’re advised to book now using this link. And don’t forget to tell your friends, families, aliens and ghosts about the show!

We’ll finish with a Dirk fact, which may or may not be relevant to our story: did you know that ‘Dirk Gently’ is a pseudonym? The character’s birth name is actually Svlad Cjelli.

Next time: rehearsals update, including some strange images of The Birdie Song

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Director’s Blog: Auditions with #doodle

Over the past two weeks I have auditioned 36 brilliant people for 6 roles and now I need a lie down.

I find auditioning hard, I know some directors run auditions by letting people use any audition piece they like but I  am not that skilled or brave. In order to know how someone would be in the part, I have to hear them reading the actual part and usually 2 or 3 different snippets from different scenes particularly if they are portraying different emotions. This makes for a long session, actually it ended up being four evenings which is the most I have ever had to do.

I know from auditioning myself that it gets boring hanging around waiting and that when you do audition you want your fair shot at everything you may have read through at home. Quite right to, so I need to organise an evening where people don’t get bored but also everyone gets the time they need.

This year I came up with a secret weapon, a doodle poll. In past years, auditionees have all completed an audition form on arrival stating which roles they want to audition for. Usually most people want to audition for more than one. This means that at the start of the evening you are presented with a big pile of papers that you have to immediately sought into order and work through in as much order as possible. This is where things go wrong, a big pile of papers in my world tends to spread all over the table, drop on the floor, and get completely mixed up and cause stress and delay. No more. this year by the wonder of the internet and a doodle poll, everyone signed up in advance to say which evening they were coming and who they were reading for. One piece of paper replaces 36.

I did get it dreadfully wrong in one case. I was working from left to right on my doodle poll taking one character at a time and trying I thought to be efficient. It was only at 10.15pm that realised that one person had only chosen to audition for the part furthest right on my page. If I had done that part first she could have gone home, rather than spending 2 and a half hours sitting waiting. I did feel bad.

Seeing people on different nights is not easy, memory problems get in the way, so my learning for next time is to video on an ipad and watch at home one after the other for comparison purposes.

At the end of the day what I can report is I saw some really great auditions and met some really lovely people. I am so happy with my wonderful cast and at the same time quite sad that I couldn’t offer roles to a number of people who were also excellent but perhaps slightly too young or old for the roles.

I hope everyone who auditioned will keep involved in some way. Backstage, Front of house, sourcing props etc, There is so much to do.

Set design , the caravan and chocolate fingers way

Set design , the caravan and chocolate fingers way

So determined was I to get the details of the set, in terms of entrances, exits, sinks etc sorted before I go into rehearsal (only 3 weeks away, Yikes!) that I took my 1/2 complete model of the set on holiday with me in a plastic bag.  Made entirely out of one Cadbury’s chocolate fingers box, (plus a little bit of crunchy nut cornflakes) when complete there were 3 walls, oven’s (one with an opening door), two sink units, 1 fridge, 1 washing machine,  1xFrench windows, 5 doors, 1 walk in cupboard, 4 windows and a bin.

Not very professional, I hear you cry and I admit I was feeling anxious. Set design  is the area that I really am scared of. I have seen some amazing sets, particularly in some of the new Nuffield shows, Tonight at 8.30pm was brilliant and Last Christmas’s revolving stage for the Nutcracker would have been perfect, however back to reality with a bump. We are a small amateur theatre with a corresponding budget and unfortunately that means something not so grand.

I digress, I had a cunning plan to my madness. For the second half of our holiday we were joining a groups of thespians camping or caravanning in Dorest. It was the annual Masker’s Camp, Loved it by the way, Thank you to any Masker who may be reading this and was involved in the organisation.  A number of SUP members are also member’s of Maskers Theatre Group and one such person is Adam. Now if you check back you will see from my second blog entry that Adam is a person who does a huge amount for the society and amongst other things he is the person with the stage plan of the Nuffield and the set designer.

So there we were, hiding in a caravan, in the pouring rain, in the middle f a field, moving around bits of Cadbury’s chocolate finger box and checking that it all fitted on the plan. Eventually it did.

If you see the show, keep an eye out for a box of Cadbury’s chocolate fingers they will be on there somewhere in homage to our soggy afternoon, who said theatre was glamorous!

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Bridget